The transitional city: 4 stories of urban recovery from Christchurch

We were pleased to welcome four speakers from Christchuch: Jessica Halliday (Festival of Transitional Architecture), Brie Sherow (Life in Vacant Spaces), Juliet Arnott (Rekindle) and Barnaby Bennett (Freerange Press). See the video from this event:

Dr Jessica Halliday
Architectural Historian and Director of the Festival of Transitional Architecture (FESTA)

The annual Festival of Transitional Architecture  is a free public event that engages with the city of Christchurch by exploring urban regeneration through large-scale temporary collaborative projects and urban interventions. It is the first and only festival of its kind in the world. By curating local, national and international responses to the unique situation in Christchurch, FESTA offers expressions of the city which have a wider relevance – they present pragmatic and flexible ways to engage with the global challenges that we are facing.

Brie Sherow
Urban Planner and Project Director at Life in Vacant Spaces (LIVS)

Life in Vacant Spaces manages privately-owned property for landowners and finds temporary uses for the many vacant lots and buildings in post-quake Christchurch. LIVS coordinates complementary and evolving temporary uses, making the space available to local creatives and entrepreneurs. This provides a space for ideas to be tested and a means for the community to get involved in the rebuild, with the idea being that the temporary will influence the permanent.


Juliet Arnott
Occupational Therapist and Founder of Rekindle

Rekindle is currently based in Christchurch and focusing on working with timbers from the residential red zone.  Its mission is to support communities to utilise wood waste fully and, in doing so, maximize the benefits of the purposeful work involved. Rekindle works to create employment and learning opportunities, and to actively enable people to participate in meaningful valued activity. We are a social enterprise strongly committed to these concerns, and any profits go into development of opportunities that further our ability to do this work.

Barnaby Bennett
PhD Candidate and Founder of Freerange Press

New Zealand’s only cooperative press, Freerange publishes books, journals and online articles around the topics of the city, design, politics and pirates. Freerange has published Chur Chur: Stories from the Christchurch earthquake, Christchurch: The transitional city, and is currently embarking on a major work with 40 authors to review the Government-led recovery plan.

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This seminar was held on 3 March 2014.